Did you know there are better and worse ways to hold a conversation? I’ve touched on it in another post. But I’m starting a beginner’s course in Motivational Interviewing, a rigorously studied method (1,000+ examinations as of this writing), which is adding myriad nuances to my understanding of this skill. Some people recommend Nonviolent Communication (NVC), which, according to Wikipedia as a launching pad for further research into NVC, may suffer from a pronounced lack of testing (13 reputable studies as of 2013 and/or 15 others as of 2017) and undue praise. And then there’s emotional intelligence (EI), “the capacity to reason about emotions and emotional information, and of emotions to enhance thought” according to John D. Mayer, Ph.D., one of the originators of the concept. We can grow our EI with practice, and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence trains teachers, among other professionals, in how to help people develop these habits. EI is believed to foster communication by boosting peoples’ ability to use emotional cues about themselves and others in their interactions with their world. Understanding those hints can aid us in situations as diverse as Can You Tell the Cat Lovers From the Dog Lovers? to coping with the holidays (On Judging and Being Judged Over the Holidays – 2013 edition).
Take a look. Fascinating, practical stuff.